WAKEFIELD — Before two Crescent Street homes are razed to make way for an assisted living facility, a hearing will be held later this month to make sure the town’s historical integrity won’t be negatively affected by the tear-downs.

The Historical Commission will hold a hearing Jan. 21 in the Public Safety Building’s Community Room beginning at 7:30 p.m. to determine whether demolishing the houses at 17 and 19 Crescent St. “would be detrimental to the historical or architectural heritage or resources of the Town of Wakefield,” according to a legal notice in today’s Item.

The house at 17 Crescent St., built around 1784, was the home of Revolutionary War surgeon Dr. John Hart, reportedly a trusted aide to George Washington. The house at 19 Crescent St., known as the Crocker House, was built in 1840.

Late last year, Building Inspector John Roberto III received notice from the Fraen Real Estate Corporation asking permission to rip down the two houses so a new downtown assisted living facility could be constructed between Main and Crescent streets. Roberto needs to in turn notify the Historical Commission to see if there’s any reason to implement the town’s Demolition Delay Bylaw on properties of possible historical value. If the bylaw is enacted, there would be a six month delay on the razing of the houses.

Shelter Development is proposing to build a 130-unit Brightview Senior Living facility. Sixty nine units will be for those who have assisted living needs and 61 units will be for those who can live on their own.

Opponents of the project argue that Shelter and Brightview people originally sought to build a smaller facility, with 90 units in all and the project should be no bigger than that.

At a hearing session before the Zoning Board of Appeals last month, Shelter representatives returned with some revised plans. An attorney representing a Crescent Street couple opposed to the scale of the project, suggested to ZBA members that they go look at the Brightview facility on Route 114 in North Andover and try to imagine a building of that size squeezed into the proposed Wakefield location.

Topsfield Atty. Alan Grenier also insisted that Wakefield zoning rules say nothing about independent living units. Grenier, citing from the Zoning Bylaw, also said proposed parking would be inadequate.

Atty. Brian McGrail, who represents Shelter during the local permitting process, said the North Andover location does not have a parking garage, as the Wakefield facility will have below the residential units.

Tomorrow night, the ZBA hearing on the Brightview project continues. The session will focus on parking and traffic.